Using AE to Extend Weak Network Signal

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by wdschrank, Jun 7, 2005.

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  1. wdschrank macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #1
    So here's my situation.....I live on two floors of a brick building. About a month ago, I received my new PowerBook and set up Airport Express downstairs. I get full signal anywhere downstairs but upstairs I receive only 1 reception bar and sometimes lose the signal altogether. I have done any number of things and for whatever reason I just cannot get a better signal upstairs. I realize that PBs do not get great reception due to the aluminum casing. And I realize that the brick building probably doesn't help. To be honest, I am done trying to figure out why the reception is poor upstairs. It works perfectly downstairs and I LOVE IT!!!!!

    So here's my question.....if I purchase and set up another AE upstairs will it be able to pick up the signal from downstairs and rebroadcast it? Will it be able to pick up the downstairs signal better than the PB currently does? I don't want to buy it just to have a strong signal between the upstairs AE and the PB but a poor signal between the upstairs AE and downstairs AE. I want to surf all over the apartment.
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    I have a similar setup and it works fine. However, I'm not sure how you can answer this question without trying it out. Maybe buy the AE from someplace with a good return policy and just try it. Is there someplace upstairs that has relatively good reception? That might be the place to locate your second AE.
     
  3. wdschrank thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2005
    #3
    Some people have also told me to try the Hawkin Hi Gain 6dB wireless antenna. But from what I've read, it has gotten mixed reviews. That would at least be a less expensive way to extend the range.
     
  4. VK45DE macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2004
    #4
    AE

    I use an airport extreme on my middle floor, an AE upstairs and another AE downstairs (basement).

    It allows me to access my wifi network anywhere in the house, where as before I had very limited access upstairs and in the basement.

    One thing I ended up doing was using the AE as an ethernet bridge for a few wired computers on both AE's. This itself allowed the wired computers to have even better "signal" than running off of independent wifi cards (the AE does a better job at transmitting data than individual wifi adapters) I also have 2 ibooks that have full 54mbps almost anywhere in the house itself.

    It should do the same for you.
     
  5. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #5
    Hmm.

    I'm a little confused. Does all this mean that the Express station does NOT have to actually be WIRED to the internet? So say my wireless router is in the living room and I don't get fantastic reception in my bedroom... An Express station plugged into only an electrical outlet (between point A and B) would help my signal? If so, I might just hafta get one... :D
     
  6. JupiterTwo macrumors 6502

    JupiterTwo

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2003
    Location:
    GB
    #6
    yep, thats correct - the AExpress can be setup to extend the wireless network of another base station, so provided you put it somewhere where it can get a reasonable signal, it should help you out :)
     
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #7
    Just remember that, to help, the additional AEs need to have signal themselves (as mentioned above). However, they don't all need to be lined up. Perhaps placing the 2nd AE near a window on either floor would help. If the additional AEs are at the extreme edge of the range of the other AE, you'll get 802.11b speeds, not 802.11g. Try to keep them close enough that they each have a strong signal from the other.
     
  8. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #8
    sigh

    I <3 MR. Thanks for the speedy responses! Yay, another new toy to save up for... the list keeps getting longer!
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Careful... it's easy to start collecting AEs. My second one is tucked away behind the crown molding above our kitchen cabinets (for whatever reason, the previous owners installed an outlet in the ceiling - now hidden above the cabinets). Now I want another one to extend range into the deep back yard.
     
  10. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2003
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #10
    There's nowhere on the Airport Express base station to connect the Hawking Technology 6dB high gain antenna. The antenna can connect to the Airport Extreme base station (the one with the modem and antenna port) as well as the antenna port on Power Mac G5s.

    I use the Hawking antenna to pick up free wifi in my apartment. Some of my neighbors are pretty generous. I don't abuse it (by using p2p) though.
     
  11. sigamy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2003
    Location:
    NJ USA
    #11
    Can I use an Airport Express to extend my network if my router is a Netgear or other non-Airport Extreme base station?
     
  12. devilot Moderator emeritus

    devilot

    Joined:
    May 1, 2005
    #12
    I'm pretty sure you can... I'm saving to get an Express to go w/ my linksys router.
     
  13. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #13
    As far as I've read, no. The AExp uses something called WDS to extend wireless networks. According to Apple, AExp's can only be used with other AExtremes or AExp's to extend a network.

    However, it has been noted that the Linksys WRT54g is compatible with Apple's brand of WDS and can be used to extend the network. The Netgear routers do not have this ability.

    I can tell you, that the AExp can be set up as a client on a Netgear network and be used for AirTunes and wireless printing. You just won't get the extended network.
     
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